Cover photo for Alfred "Peter" Murphy's Obituary
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1933 Alfred "Peter" 2023

Alfred "Peter" Murphy

October 28, 1933 — July 20, 2023


Alfred Frances "Peter" Murphy of West River, Maryland and Canaan, Vermont passed away on July 20, 2023 at the age of 89.

Peter was born in Barre, VT on October 28, 1933 as the middle child to Sue (Jordan) and Frank Ellis Murphy. He was raised in Vermont's rural and rugged Northeast Kingdom, in a home on Lake Wallace on the Canadian border, still owned and cherished by five generations of his family. He fished, trapped, and guided in the region's rivers, lakes, and forests, but his fondest memories were acting and singing in his school's theater and choir productions.

After graduating from Canaan Memorial High School in 1951, he matriculated to Saint Michael's College in Colchester, VT. His college studies were interrupted due to his service as an airborne infantryman in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division's Pathfinder Platoon in Fort Bragg, NC. Upon returning to St. Michael's he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees and married the love of his life, Beverly Ann Jaibur, on October 5, 1957.

Pete worked briefly as a high school history teacher before beginning a career in the U.S. Customs Service that would span three decades of service around the world. In 1960, Peter and Beverly moved from Vermont to Washington, DC for work obligations. They then moved their growing family of four children overseas in 1969, and spent the majority of the next two decades abroad.

Peter worked as a Senior Customs Advisor and Operations Officer and Chief-of-Party for the U.S. Customs Service, U.S Department of Treasury, and U.S. Agency for International Development in several postings in Africa and the Middle East. He worked on a variety of projects including the Ethiopian famine crisis, refugee assistance, and establishing the customs services of Liberia, Ethiopia, and United Arab Emirates. In his own words, 'my career was highlighted by my ability to adapt to a culture, to work with a hands-on approach, and become one with the people,' wherever he was in the world.

In 1980, Peter and Beverly built their retirement home on the shores of Lake Champlain in Colchester, VT and later moved to a place from Pete's childhood he cherished fondly throughout his life- Lake Wallace, Canaan, VT. For the next 40 years, they divided their time between Vermont and Maryland to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Lovingly known as 'Pop' by his eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren, a joke in the family was that if you asked Pop what time it was, he would tell you how a clock was made. He enjoyed being active in his grandchildren's lives, whether that was attending a school play or building them a tree house. Pete was a life-long learner, particularly of East and West African cultures, and his passion for collecting and trading African Art continued throughout his retirement, with much of his collection donated to art and history museums throughout the US. Every night he would listen to BBC News on his crank radio, or watch PBS News Hour to stay up on current global events. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by three children: Valerie (Joseph) Hickey of Finksburg, MD, Matthew (Amy) Murphy of La Plata, MD, and Vanessa (Tom) Krehely of Pasadena, MD. He was grandfather to eight grandchildren: Josh (Jessica), Nathan (Maggie), and Daniel (Bethany) Murphy; Lauren (Justin) and Michael (Maria) Hickey; and Shannon (Danny), Hannah, and Zach Krehely; and five great grandchildren: Abbey, Ethan, Jude, Charlie, and Ben Murphy. In addition to his parents, Sue and Frank Murphy, and siblings, Virginia Brunelli and Edward Murphy, he was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Beverly Murphy, and son, Frank Murphy.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 9:30 AM at Saint Michael's College Chapel, 810 Campus Rd, Colchester, VT 05439. Interment will follow to include military honors in Resurrection Park Cemetery, 200 Hinesburg Rd, South Burlington, VT 05403.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Saint Michael’s College Chapel

810 Campus Rd, Colchester, VT 05439

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, August 2, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Resurrection Park Catholic Cemetery

200 Hinesburg Road, South Burlington, VT 05403

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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